Neptune Energy has kicked off drilling on the Ofelia exploration well in the North Sea.
The prospect sits in the same play as Hamlet; a discovery made by the company in April with estimated resources of 8-24 million barrels.
Pre-drill estimates for Ofelia have not been disclosed, though Neptune expects it will be able to develop the pair in tandem if a discovery is made.
The well (35/6-3 S) is being drilled by the Deepsea Yantai, a semi-submersible rig, owned by CIMC and operated by Odfjell Drilling.
Ofelia lies eight miles north of the Neptune-operated Gjoa field within the PL929 licence.
The independent operator said Ofelia would be produced at less than half the average emissions of the Norwegian Continental Shelf thanks to Gjoa’s profile; the asset produces 3kg of CO2 per barrel, versus the average 8kg.
Director of subsurface in Norway, Steinar Meland, said: “Ofelia is an interesting prospect and fits our exploration strategy of focusing on opportunities within core areas near existing infrastructure.
“In case of a discovery, Ofelia could potentially be developed in parallel with Hamlet, resulting in a low cost and carbon efficient development.”
The drilling programme comprises a main-bore with an optional side-track, based on the exploration well’s outcome.
Neptune Energy is operator and 40% owner of Ofelia, partnered with Wintershall Dea (20%), Lundin Energy Norway (10%), Pandion Energy (20%) and DNO (10%).